Fantasy Football

2020 Fantasy Football Week 2 Preview: Semblance


The opening weekend of the NFL, without a preseason, came through with good football. I admit to being among those expecting some sloppiness with plenty of procedural type penalty calls.

There is ambient crowd noise, but the volume remains steady with a regular buzz. Quarterbacks could hard count defenses into neutral zone infractions. The number of calls for offside seemed slightly above normal in casual perception, but by no means chronic.

Overall, the games had the semblance of NFL football in any given season. Considering the state and local directives to hurdle in some cases, the opening week came off very well.

On to Week 2. This week we have just five inter-division games (six incl. Thursday) compared to nine in Week 1. A good mix of fantasy matchups outside of regular divisional opponents.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 2 Preview

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2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

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Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You have your fantasy lineups set, now it’s time to watch ’em play.

Early Sunday: Falcons (0-1) at Cowboys (0-1) -4.5 52.5

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Matt Ryan gifted three of his receivers 100+ yard games against the Saints in Week 1. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage became the first trio to accomplish this feat in a single game since 2018. Before that, you have to go back to 2013 for such an occurrence.

Yes, it means Ryan threw for big yardage – 450 to be exact. There’s a chance he could go over 400 again against the Cowboys.

One would suppose the Cowboys secondary matchups have to incorporate several schemes to somehow contain the dual threat of Julio and Ridley. Cowboys’ number one corner, Chidobe Awuzie had his hands full with Robert Woods, but Julio is the next level. They met before in 2018. Julio torched the secondary for 118 yards and a touchdown.

The Falcons can set this all up on the ground with Todd Gurley. I expect however that Gurley’s talents for receiving out of the backfield will feature ahead of his carries. Because…

For the Cowboys, the method is your standard melting of the clock on the ground to keep the Falcons to as few possessions as possible. Therefore, expect plenty of Ezekiel Elliott early and often. The best case scenario for the Cowboys is if this game finishes ahead of every early game on Sunday.

We’re watching CeeDee Lamb this week. With Blake Jarwin on IR, the 6’2″ 200 pounder is now the next biggest surehanded receiver on the Cowboys. Dalton Schultz, Jarwin’s replacement at tight end, should be on your watchlist as a matter of fantasy prudence.

Fun Fact: This is Ezekiel Elliott’s second game against the Falcons. In 2018, he had a good fantasy day in Week 11 with 23-122-1-1 rushing and 7-79-0 receiving. Translating to 27.6 hppr FPs.
Sleeper: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

Giants (0-1) at Bears (1-0) -5.5 42.0

Rumors of an Allen Robinson trade got emotional this week; as he appeared to pack his suitcase on social media. Everything’s fine now. We think. Look for David Montgomery to have a fine fantasy day. The Giants need to figure out how to get Saquon Barkley going. 10 of his 15 carries against the Steelers last week went for negative yardage. That’s not RB1 fantasy stuff.

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Lions (0-1) at Packers (1-0) -6.0 49.0

Yes folks, Aaron Rodgers is alive and well. Very well. It was classic Rodgers last week – playing with his food. His favorite dish, the Lions, are up. For their part, the Lions are coming off another humiliating comeback against them. This time by the Bears. Who practically just had to go through the motions for a rally in the 4th quarter. Kenny Golladay is out.

Jaguars (1-0) at Titans (1-0) -9.0 42.5

The Jaguars cannot even tank – that’s how bad they are. Well, maybe not so fast on that thought. Minshew is legit. Unknowns like James Robinson are stepping up big. Laviska Shenault is a hot fantasy sleeper. Keelan Cole is back on fantasy watchlistings. What’s going on? We’ll get more clues versus the Titans. A.J. Brown is out with a knee bruise. Start Corey Davis again.

Vikings (0-1) at Colts (0-1) -3.0 48.0

Fantasy news highlighting the Colts surrounded us this week. Marlon Mack is out. Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines skyrocketed in value. Parris Campbell is a must-own now. In contrast, the Vikings had far less interest in fantasy after Week 1. Kirk Cousins attempted a paltry 25 passes with just 19 connecting. Clearly, they plan to continue running this offense through Dalvin Cook.

Bills (1-0) at Dolphins (0-1) +5.5 41.0

The Bills are the curiosity of the NFL right now. Josh Allen out-rushed Devin Singletary and Zach Moss combined; 57 to 41. John Brown and Stefon Diggs are definitely 1a and 1b receivers. For the Dolphins, I think we’re just waiting for Tua. The Beard threw three picks – you can’t do that for long without the hook showing up. The Miami backfield is a mess of misfits.

Forty-Niners (0-1) at Jets (0-1) +7.0 42.5

George Kittle is out and perhaps beyond this week. The 49ers are pretty much a control and contain team. Kittle holds a major part. They don’t like getting out their comfort zone by forcing things in the passing game. The Jets are perfect subjects for their ongoing experiment. To make things worse for the Jets, Jamison Crowder, the current best fantasy option – ruled out.

Rams (1-0) at Eagles (0-1) 0.0 46.0

This is possibly the next best game to watch of the early slate. We’re watching in particular Cooper Kupp, a player in a curious “odd man out” situation considering the scheme of the Rams. Speaking of invisible, you could apply that to several Eagles WRs following the loss against Washingon. Only Greg Ward caught the majority of his targets. Expect better this game.

Broncos (0-1) at Steelers (1-0) -7.0 41.5

The Broncos certainly have a tough run defense. Yes, Derrick Henry did get 100+ yards on Monday night, but they were tough yards on 31 carries and his best tote went for only 13. The Steelers will place their hopes on pass protection. Ben Roethlisberger will get his rabbits to foot race with the Broncos to help clear the tackle box and enable James Conner and Benny Snell more room.

Panthers (0-1) at Buccaneers (0-1) -9.0 47.5

Brady will make a Julian Edelman out of clay if he has to. Scotty Miller was a favorite fantasy snag this week in anticpation of his regular usage. Byron Leftwich basically says, “Mr. Brady gets what Mr. Brady wants – see to it.” Chris Godwin remains doubtful. In terms of rushing and receiving, Christian McCaffrey had his worst 2019 results in both games versus the Bucs.

Late Sunday: Ravens (1-0) at Texans (0-1) +7.0 51.5

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The Ravens just dismantled the Browns last week, but a backfield shift caused some fantasy controversy.

The trouble stems from Mark Ingram‘s usage decline while J.K. Dobbins‘ gradually increased starting from his debut carry in the first quarter. It’s easy to say that the plan was to give more run to Dobbins as the game became further and further out of reach. It’s a fair theory, mainly because it certainly worked out that way.

Mark Ingram fantasy owners aren’t convinced of this simple explanation as panic starts to creep in. They needn’t worry too much. The Ravens ran the ball more than any other NFL team in 2019. By the looks of the opener in 2020 that trend is set to continue. Touches enough for all. As for inside the five, well…

On the Texans’ side of things, their controversy revolves around a receiving offense that clearly misses DeAndre Hopkins. As you know, the Texans were in a spot where they couldn’t pay everyone.

Unfortunately, Will Fuller cannot carry the entire receiving duty. It looks as though Randall Cobb is working in better, but Kenny Stills? Not so much. Brandin Cooks (quad) is on the questionable list looking probable.

David Johnson is a bright spot and looks better than his latter days in Arizona would suggest. Duke Johnson remains questionable for the game, but his availabilty looks promising.

Fun Fact: The Texans at home have not lost to the Ravens since 2010. David Johnson played against the Ravens last season with Cardinals. Statline was 7-14-1 with no catches.
Sleeper: Miles Boykin, WR, Ravens

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Redskins (1-0) at Cardinals (1-0) -6.5 47.5

Christian Kirk Week 11 2019: 6-138-3 (34.8 hppr FPs) – top producer of the week. Enter DeAndre Hopkins in 2020 and Kirk’s statline: 1-0-0 with a half-point for the catch. Nuk does what Nuk does. Gets open and catches footballs. 16 targets is a bit much, but Hopkins loves it. I would have all of your Washington players sit out this one – including Terry McLaurin.

Chiefs (1-0) at Chargers (1-0) +8.5 47.5

Sammy Watkins, for two years running is the opening act for the Chiefs. Will he not disappear this time? Last week a bit of fantasy news went somewhere on the back pages. I’m talking about Mike Williams who with just four catches on nine targets and 69 yards did something he never did before. He had a stud field presence. This is eye test stuff, look for that in this game.

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Patriots (1-0) at Seahawks (1-0) -4.0 45.0

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Russell Wilson and Cam Newton are familiar rivals. Might take a while before they meet again.

Here’s what makes their latest clash interesting. Cam threw 16 less passes as Russell last week. 35 attempts versus 19. Russell has the go-ahead to “cook” from Pete Carroll, whereas Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels see their offense and Cam’s role differently.

As usual, how the Patriots approach this visit to the Northwest is a closely guarded secret. We do know that the defense will select a key Seahawk to remove. Since the Seahawks gain most of their success by initiating their attacks from the ground first, Chris Carson might be the target. That said, D.K. Metcalf is equally a candidate for their focus.

On offense, the Patriots may attempt a similar approach as in Miami by mixing up the ground game and allowing Cam to use his legs.

Russell can still do that too. Let me make a bold prediction. Russell calls his number for a goal-to-goal situation if it arises.

Fun Fact: The Patriots last played at Seattle in 2012. This was two years before they met in the Super Bowl.
Sleeper: Greg Olsen, TE, Seahawks

Monday Night: Saints (1-0) at Raiders (1-0) +6.0 49.5

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Another first look at a brand new stadium. Allegiant Stadium literally opened just seven weeks ago. Comparisons with SoFi in Los Angeles are certain to follow.

When you think the Raiders were still playing in a retro early 1970s dual role stadium in 2019, this venue will go far beyond the word “palace.”

Does this Raiders team have the product to do this fantastic arena justice? Last week they made a start.

Josh Jacobs dialled in a performance in the opening week so strong against the Panthers that it went further to suggest we were projecting his rank among RBs too low.

The Raiders and their passing game is good enough in real football terms. In fantasy, we are feeling a little in the cold as far as the rest of the Raiders pass catchers are concerned. Outside of the tight end Darren Waller, the receiving pool looks nebulous. Henry Ruggs looked good, but not a player you would call focal for targets from Derek Carr.

Now on with the Saints. The big news of course is the injury to Michael Thomas – keeping him out “several weeks.” This leaves a hole in target share for Drew Brees. Will Tre’Quan Smith step up into this prime role? Can he be close to as effective as Thomas? These are questions we will see answers to.

I expect that Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara will see an increase in usage. Should be a wild Monday night in a new stadium where you can smell the fresh paint.

Fun Fact: This is the third Monday night meeting of these teams – the last in 1991 where the Saints blanked the Raiders 27-0.
Sleeper: Deonte Harris, WR, Saints

In the Booth on Sunday

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Kevin Burkhardt

CBS Early

Giants at Bears: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Broncos at Steelers: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon
Jaguars at Titans: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Bills at Dolphins: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

FOX Early

Falcons at Cowboys: Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston
49ers at Jets: Brandon Gaudin, Jonathan Vilma
Rams at Eagles: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman
Panthers at Buccaneers: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Lions at Packers: Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard
Vikings at Colts: Tim Brando, Robert Smith

CBS Late

Chiefs at Chargers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Ravens at Texans: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green

FOX Late

Washington at Cardinals: Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn

Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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